Yes, you've graduated from the obligatory all-inclusive week of sun(burn) in a post- A Levels, Inbetweeners-worthy location to a villa in Tuscany or an Instagram-friendly Scandinavian Airbnb, but when it comes to a 'girls holiday,' there are some things that never change, however much older, wiser and more familiar with the benefits of high factor SPF you like to think you are.
As holiday season tiptoes into view, let us refresh your memory: we're willing to bet that at least some of these things will happen on your next all-female trip (and we wouldn't have it any other way...)
1. The WhatsApp group will hit a peak the day before
With everyone trying to out-do each other in the 'I'm honestly so excited!' stakes
2. Someone will be put in charge of 'bringing the straighteners'
Every group needs a guardian of the ghds (because beach waves require hours of tousling and an unfeasible amount of sea salt spray...)
3. Someone will 'check in' at the airport terminal on Facebook as soon as you're through security
Cue whisperings about whether such behaviour is too 'basic' for grown adults...
4. Someone says 'we should have made T-shirts!'
And no one can work out whether they're actually being serious...
5. Everyone immediately uploads the same view to Instagram upon arrival
Cue the unspoken competition of who can get the most likes...
6. When it comes to the inevitable group photo, at least three people will immediately shout 'DELETE!'
But you'll upload it anyway in the name of great #content (because frankly, your hair looks pretty great...)
7. You'll end up becoming your friend's unofficial 'Instagram wife'
Prepare to curate endless 'spontaneous' sunset photo opportunities...
8. Someone packs for a weekend (when you're going away for a week)
'Can I borrow that top / dress / bikini / pair of shoes?'
9. And someone packs for a week (when you're away for a weekend)
The holiday capsule wardrobe is a tricky beast, after all...
10. Your plans to go 'out out' will go awry
It's hard enough to mobilise the group for a night out in your home town, let alone another country...
11. Instead, you'll probably abandon your grand schemes and stay in your rooms drinking liberally mixed Aperol spritzes
Heavy on the Aperol, light on the spritz...
12. And if you do actually make it out, you'll inevitably end up in the sort of dive you'd never frequent back home
Despite having previously combed Instagram for more 'authentic' drinking venues.
13. Someone will end up getting deep and emotional just when you've all started to have a good time
There might be tears...
14. And the next morning you'll all slowly emerge, looking grey and feeling battle-scarred
But armed with more ammunition to tease your friends than you've had since Fresher's Week.
15. Co-ordinating your bathroom schedule requires military levels of forward planning
Clichés are clichés because they're true: morning showerers, evening showerers, fake tanners, we could go on...
16. In fact, making any plans is a gargantuan effort
Even a simple trip to the beach requires the sort of call sheet worthy of a Hollywood film set or glossy fashion shoot.
17. Sunburn will inevitably strike (in a big way)
In the time-honoured 'Brits abroad' fashion.
18. A divide will form between the fake tanners and the real tanners
The fake tanners have messier bath towels...
19. Someone will only eat 'proper food'...
While someone else will lecture you about how they've decided to only eat the local cuisine, because they're all about the authentic experience, you know?
20. Which makes agreeing upon a place to eat a daily struggle
Watch your iPhone step count go up and up until you eventually decide to go back to the first place that you saw.
21. Someone will conveniently avoid paying their share of the bills
And will keep insisting that the fact they 'got you that coffee at the airport' eliminates them from any financial responsibilities.
22. This will come to a head at the holiday's half-way point, when you've all drunk far too much of the local wine
Luckily, the finer points will probably be rather hazy the next day (and your friend will actually offer to pay for the taxi...)
23. Breakfast included? There'll be one person who goes too far...
Yes, you have technically 'paid for it.' No, it's not OK for to bring a bag to fill with pastries 'for later.'
24. You'll become really great at mental maths
Not since Year Six SATs have your mental arithmetic skills been so sharp, thanks to regular bill-splitting.
25. You quickly learn who can function on very little sleep, and who really can't
Or, you learn who to avoid before 9am and caffeine.
26. An unexpected spin-off friendship will form
When two people from separate ends of the friendship spectrum come together...
27. Someone will take on the role of tour guide...
And become an unexpected font of all cultural knowledge, ready to point out Roman remains at a moment's notice.
28. You'll befriend a random male group of fellow tourists, henceforth to be embarassingly referred to as 'the boys'
In real life, you'd never have spoken to them. In fact, you'd have actively swiped left past most of them on Tinder.
29. There'll be enough in-jokes to carry you through the next decade
Or until your next group trip, at least.
30. You remember why your friends are actually your friends
Because they might leave your Whatsapp messages hanging with a blue tick sometimes, but they're actually alright.
31. You'll find yourself comparing iPhone calendars on the journey home, to co-ordinate the next one
And thus, the cycle continues...